Women Can't Negotiate

Women can’t negotiate. Go ahead; yell and scream and call me a sexist. Problem is, at least one quite-successful woman business investor and executive agrees. She phrases it not that women can’t negotiate, but that women don’t negotiate—and cites examples.

But in the final analysis, there may not be a practical difference.

I raise the issue because the difference between “women can’t negotiate” and “women won’t negotiate” is subtle, but important. It’s like a discussion of the pay gap separating men and women. It’s real. And it’s not OK. But the gender pay gap isn’t about discrimination; it’s about a bit of as-yet-uncorrected history … and because women as a group are bad negotiators.

Male, female, or other, I suggest you pause for a breath right about here.

Hopefully, including “other” in that last sentence tells you a bit about how I see this issue. I don’t really believe there are more than two “genders”, but I accept that others do. And acceptance is what this piece is about. Accept that beautiful women often have a particular effect on others (men too; looks matter). Simple notoriety matters too; I wasn’t surprised when Monica Lewinsky garnered almost eight thousand Twitter followers in the first thirty minutes she had an account, and three years later her 150,000 followers should come as the same non-surprise.


Fact is, sometimes we need to take a step back and analyze rather than react. Sometimes, everybody is right. Just because. There’s no gender statement anywhere in there.

Women Can’t Negotiate

Where we fall off, whether it’s business or personal, whether we’re talking facts, statistics, or opinions, lies somewhere near the women can’t negotiate thing. Of course women can negotiate. And men can nurture. And all of this is in a constant state of flux.

The flux is what we help you and your business navigate. If you want to close your gender pay gap, we’ll show you how. And if you want all of your employees to become better negotiators we’ll take that on. Business change is a personal thing; what you need isn’t what the next guy is looking for.

Women can negotiate. The thing that matters is changing your business landscape enough that they want to.

Share This